Auburn University's quarterback Cam Newton was declared eligible to play after a suspension lasting less than 24 hours was lifted on Dec. 1. Newton was suspended on suspicion an ethics violation in the form of soliciting a pay-for-play arrangement with Mississippi State University.
USA Today reported that the NCAA cleared Newton for play after an investigation was made into the matter. The NCAA discovered that Cecil Newton, Cam's father, and the agent representing them, Kenny Rogers, had committed the violation without Cam's involvement when they asked Mississippi State for more than 100,000 dollars in exchange for a signed letter of intent.
ESPN reported that the controversy surrounding the situation, especially his alleged involvement in it, troubled Cam deeply. "Everything I've done at this university, I did it the right way," he said in an interview. "I'm a person that did no wrong."
In response to Cam's reinstatement, his father released a statement through the family's attorney stating that he would not be attending the Heisman ceremony on Sunday night. He said that his son has worked hard to get where he is and that he does not want his presence to detract from the moment in any way. "SO THAT MY SON CAM NEWTON CAN RECEIVE ALL THE HONORS AND CONGRAGULATIONS THAT HE HAS WORKED SO HARD TO ACCOMPLISH WIHTOUT DISTRACTION, I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO BE IN ATTENDANCE AT THE HEISMAN CEREMONY; AS IT WILL PERHAPS ROB CAM AND THE EVENT OF A SACRED MOMENT," the statement reads.
The Newton family lawyer stated that the Roberts family was happy their son was allowed to play, but saddened that the charges were not dropped altogether. "He's hurt badly by this," the lawyer said. "It's like sticking a knife in the guy." The NCAA has not completely closed the case on Newton yet. The official release stated that his reinstatement occurred "prior to the close of an investigation."